December '19

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70 • RV PRO • December 2019 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S Experts say there are a number of steps RV businesses can take now to survive and even thrive when the next economic downturn inevitably comes. By Phillip M. Perry W hen will the next recession hit? No one knows, but business leaders are aware the nation's decade-long run of good times can't last forever. Some two-thirds of the nation's chief financial officers expect the United States to tip into an economic downturn by the third quarter of 2020, according to a Duke University/ CFO Global Business Outlook survey. Reasons? Experts cite potential triggers as disparate as a serious U.S.-China rift, an interest rate misstep by the Federal Reserve, the growing levels of corporate debt, as well as the ballooning federal deficit. Any one factor might tip the economy into a recession (which is loosely defined as a significant drop in economic activity lasting more than a few months). Lemon to Lemonade Whatever its cause, a recession is bound to pose bot- tom-line challenges. Can the pain be lessened? Yes, if busi- ness owners take certain steps to retool their operations in advance of the slowdown, according to business experts interviewed for this article. And the time to start those steps is now, those business experts add. "Churchill said, 'never waste a crisis,'" says John McQuaig, managing partner of McQuaig & Welk, a Wenatchee, Wash.- based management consulting firm. "His advice is just as relevant when it comes to preparing for one. Don't waste the time that still remains before the arrival of the next recession." Waiting too long is risky. "Shooting from the hip in a downturn often leads to business decisions that are compromises or worse," says Michael Recession-Proof Recession-Proof Your Business Your Business "While cost-cutting can be important when preparing for a recession, try to keep your trained workforce in place. Many times companies cut their staffs too deeply, then cannot recover after a recession because skilled workers are not in place to regenerate revenue." – John McQuaig, managing partner of McQuaig & Welk

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